The Art of Prophecy had a lot of promise to be a dynamic multiple POV fantasy series. I was excited by it's promise of subverting the Chosen One trope and make it about a journey to determine your own fate. I was also excited by it's promise of a funny, pessimistic old mentor vs. reluctant but talented student. However the pacing of this book meant it didn't fully deliver on all those promises the book set up in the beginning.
I hope this series gets better in the sequel.
The cover instantly drew me - the main reason why I picked up this story. I'm happy to say: it did not disappoint!
First of all - the worldbuilding? Chu did a great job with that! And I say this, although I usually do not care that much about the worldbuilding. I focus more on the characters and I can proudly say, I have not been disappointed! Give this one a go.
Only problem I had with it: it took me very long to finish it. Might be a me-problem tho, the story was gripping.
Thank you to NetGalley and Daphne press for the advance reader copy.
I wasn’t going to give feedback when I first read this but I had to DNF this book.
The writing style wasn’t for me and I didn’t want to keep checking how far into the book I was every time I began reading.
I love the Art of Prophecy!
The plot is so interesting and subverts traditional conventions of the genre, but where the book shines is with the characters. I love every single character even the 'villain's' are amazing. The humour in this book is my kind of funny with lots of sarcasm. I can't wait to see how the story progresses.
I DNFed this but it could have been poor timing for me to have started reading it. I just couldn't get to grips with the writing style. It could have been a me thing, maybe I'll try again, maybe I won't. I'm sure there will be plenty who appreciate it.
Thank you for the opportunity regardless.
A most excellent read, would highly recommend, 10/10 and the cover is gorgeous. The start of a really great series.
I’m pretty annoyed with myself for putting off reading this book for so long, it was brilliant! Entertaining, and hilarious at times. An epic fantasy that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Reading it filled me with the nostalgia of watching old Marshall arts movies like Crouching Tiger, Hidden dragon. The fight scenes were well written and easy to visualise (something I struggle with sometimes)
One of the things I really loved about this book was the way Wesley Chu chose to turn the chosen one trope on its head. Instead of him being all powerful and finding everything really easy, it turns out he’s a weak spoiled brat.
Thank you to @netgalley the author, and the publisher for giving me the opportunity to fall in love with this book. I can’t wait to read the second one.
thank you to the publisher and netgalley for providing me with an arc of this title in exchange for this honest review.
The Art of Prophecy is everything i love and hope for in an epic fantasy. Stunning prose, great characters and an immersive world to get lost in. I thoroughly enjoyed it, though it did take me a while to read, since i sadly hit a reading slump around the time i got this arc. But where most other books failed to keep my interest, The Art of Prophecy was a shining light in the darkness, and a joy to read. I cannot wait to continue the series.
A wonderful read, full of action, well-developed characters and a very fascinating wordlbuilding!
I devoured every page, finding myself involved in a story where there is no shortage of unexpected twists and political intrigue!
I will definitely continue the series!
Thanks to Netgalley and publisher for a eARC
I loved this!! Ling Taishi was hands down my favourite character that Chu gave us in this one! Her POV was solid and I was hooked!
The worldbuilding was strong and I was fully immersed! I loved the humour in this, that was so welcome and I fully believe it was everything I was looking for when I picked it up - without actually knowing it at the time!
The representation in this book was great and I feel like everything flowed so effortlessly! I loved how the culture was embraced and the story was so passionate. I actually loved all the characters.
I feel like I still haven't quite got all my thoughts in order here, but that's ok because I have a feeling I'll be in the same situation with book 2 in my hands.
In a world divided by war, a hero is prophesied to raise and defeat the immortal Eternal Khan.
A boy is recognised as a chosen one, brought up in luxury and fame, and trained by the best masters of the martial arts. When Taishi, a legendary grandmaster with her fighting days behind her, arrives to inspect the hero’s progress, she is surprised to find Jian— a somewhat spoiled teenager whose skills leave much to be desired. Taishi decides to take over the boy’s training.
And then the impossible happens: Eternal Khan is killed by a simple soldier, rendering the prophecy and Jian useless...
This book was a surprisingly enjoyable read. This novel is complex, full of action and plot twists. The main idea of a prophecy that turns out to be wrong or misunderstood was refreshing. We all heard stories about the Chosen One, who has to follow the path and fulfil his destiny, whether he wants it or not. In The Art Of Prophecy, Wesley Chu turned this trope into something new and exciting.
Let me add that I adored the characters, especially Taishi. There are a few splendid female characters in this novel, but the master of the Windwispering School has to be my favourite. She is an older woman with a disability and an incredible fighting style. She is a rather grumpy, sarcastic, no-nonsense kind of person, but meeting Jian helps her find a new purpose in life.
I recommend this book to those who enjoy fantasy books with fascinating worldbuilding and a fair amount of detailed fight scenes.
I’m going to start today’s review by saying that I was destined to love this book from the beginning, because it was fairly clear we’d be getting at least a little found family early on! Towards the end, there’s rather a lot of it though, if you love found family in stories then absolutely pick this up.
“Love and respect is what makes family, not blood.”
The Art of Prophecy is centred around a war that has been happening for centuries, and one of the best things about the story is that we don’t just have a focus on the chosen one’s side in the war but also the rival clan. This gave a fantastic all-round view of the two sides, which Chu continues to fully illustrate with excellent world-building.
The story starts off with one of our four main perspectives, Ling Taishi, viewing the prophesied hero of Zhuun people in action to see how great of a fighter he is… and she’s utterly disappointed to the point where she starts to interfere. As a Master of the War Arts herself, Taishi can see that the hero, Jian, is in severe need of interference from his fighting “techniques” alone (taught by several “Masters”). It’s an incredibly entertaining start, and the way that Taishi and Jian bounce off each other is fantastic and hilarious.
Jian starts off as a spoilt brat who basically thinks he’s better than everyone else, but… it’s sadly a product of how he’s been treated growing up. Having been born centuries after the prophecy was made, it makes sense that those who believe in the religion it’s linked to will then worship Jian. They believe he will end the war and finally the Zhuun will be able to win against the Katuia… but things go a little bit differently when, actually, the Eternal Khan is instead killed by others… who have not been raised in a palace with many servants and treated like royalty.
That’s just some of the events that happen a mere 35 pages into this 500+ page book, and fairly quickly the news then reaches Taishi and Jian. It’s also when the action kind of picks up, because how could the Dukes of the land let Jian live when he hasn’t lived up to his prophecy? But Taishi being a soft-centred yet harsh mentor means she’ll do whatever she can to help keep him safe; she refuses to accept that there isn’t more to the prophecy.
‘Sali’ (Salminde) is the third perspective that we’re introduced to. She’s of the Katuia clan and an esteemed Viperstrike, amongst other titles. She’s highly skilled and prepared to do whatever it takes for her people, though she misses her family dearly. Added to that, after the death of the Eternal Khan she finds many of her people have been forced to become indentured servants, living in ways that go against their long-standing traditions.
Qisami is the last we meet of the four main perspectives, and though she’s a Zhuun shadowkill assassin, her main allegiance is towards whoever can pay her the most. If you somehow manage to choose a side in the war, even if you pick the Zhuun side you’ll likely struggle to see Sali as a villainous character, Qisami though… she’s a fantastic character, but there’s definitely an evil quality to her.
From the very beginning, Taishi was my favourite character. She’s straight to the point and we find out a lot about her and Sali’s different upbringings throughout the story, which is probably why I couldn’t help but warm to both of them. Jian may start off as a brat but has the most character development (thankfully), but you can still tell from the beginning that he has a kind and caring nature. And Qisami, she might not be a “good” person, but she’s certainly an entertaining character! Alongside the side characters we meet along the way, Chu has written a story filled with a fantastic cast in general.
Choice is a recurring theme throughout the story, what happens if you have no choice? What if you make a choice you end up regretting? Alongside there being drama at every twist and turn, once you start reading The Art of Prophecy then you’ll definitely struggle to put it down; I can’t wait for the next book!
It took me a while but i finally finished! There are essentially two arcs of the story in the book and I just naturally stopped after the first one. I loved the atmosphere and the settings.
This was a more politcal story than i expected, and less martial arts, but overall it was an interesting read and I would happily carry on with the series. Taisho and Jian were separated for a large portion of the book but I actually enjoyed that.
Thanks to Netgalley and publisher for a copy of the book.
Wesley Chu's "The Art of Prophecy" is an interesting fiction book that twists the usual story of the Chosen One. The story takes place in a kingdom where predictions are very important. Wen Jian is thought to be the hero who will beat the immortal Eternal Khan and save the realm. As things happen, though, it's clear that the forecast has led them wrong.
Jian grew up in comfort and was trained by skilled troops. Now, he has to try hard to live up to what the prophecy says he will do. When he finds out that the prophecy is wrong, he has to find his own way to greatness and figure out how to achieve his fate in his own way.
When a strange group of heroes shows up to save the country, the story takes an exciting turn. Taishi, a former grandmaster who is tired of fighting, Sali, a fighter who isn't sure who she should be loyal to, and Qisami, an assassin who isn't sure what is right or wrong, join Jian on an exciting trip that goes against what any forecast says will happen.
Wesley Chu cleverly combines adventure, magic, and self-discovery into a story that makes you think and questions your ideas about fate and heroism. The characters' growth is subtle and emotional, which makes them easy to relate to and love. Also, the world is described in great detail, and its history and legends give the story more depth.
"The Art of Prophecy" is a fun book that keeps you turning the pages. It gives a new spin on the classic hero's journey. This book is a must-read for myth fans and people who want to learn more about how fate and individuality work. Whether you've read other books by Wesley Chu or this is the first one you've read by him, this one is a great addition to the genre and will leave fans eagerly awaiting his next book.
***A big thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for my advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.***
this is amazing I love the differe nt take on the chosen one/prophecy trope.
The world building was great and i really enjoyed the character development
The Art of Prophecy is a book that has had a slow going buzz. Perhaps not when it released last year but as 2023 continues I hear more people talking about this book. And there is a reason for that.
In this book we first start following Tashi when she comes to visit Jian, the prophesied Hero. Sheltered from the world, Jian has much to learn. And Tashi decides to be the person to do it. But when the world learns that the prophecy failed, both Jian and Tashi have to run for their lives. As their story unfolds we meet two more main characters. Salminde who is on the other end of the war, trying to save her people. Qisami on the other end is a hired assassin with powers of the shadow nature. It creates an interesting narrative. One that took a while to get going but once it does, it hits quite a punch.
I especially fell in love with Tashi. A one armed war artist, considered the greatest of her generation. She is brash and in your face. But she has a big heart, somewhere burrowed under al that saltiness. Jian on the other hand took some getting used to. He was an entitled brat because that was the way he was raised. When you are raised to be The HERO of your nation. The one from the prophecy. You get a little ahead of yourself. But when his nation drops him like a stone, he has to start learning to fend for himself. I think he grew into that splendidly because he ended up with the right people around him.
As for Salminde, she is a character that I also couldn't help but like right away. Coming home to your rulers death and knowing you are meant to sacrifice yourself, is quite a feat. Then not doing it and deciding that you will be the one to find his substitution and save your people, is quite a switch. But it was believable with who she is. She wants to do the right thing but also wants to save what is hers (her sister). And she is in an internal war with herself over that. I did find it harder to like her when she joins the ranks of wanting to kill Jian.
But that is also the charm of this book. Getting the oposite sides of this big war. A prophecy that failed. But what is the true story behind that? Believe me that the title of this book is absolutely fitting. I'm not sure how Qisame fits in and I don't particularly like her. But she came into the story quite a bit later and there wasn't much growth in her yet.
All in all, this book is a great pick for those of us who love a good in depth, slower build of an epic fantasy. And the best thing is that the sequel is coming out later this year.
My full review on my blog (link attached).
I suspect Wesley Chu is a really nice guy, full of unbridled enthusiasm for martial arts and Chinese pop-culture embodied in wuxia. He might be quite knowledgeable in both areas, too – apparently he’s trained in martial arts himself. But sadly, expertise in the above does not translate to the ability of writing good books. The Art of Prophecy has a cool blurb and a truly beautiful cover – and that’s the extent of positives I can dish out for what turned out to be an amazingly spectacular train wreck of a novel.
What was promised to be an “epic fantasy ode to martial arts and magic—the story of a spoiled hero, an exacting grandmaster, and an immortal god-king” was for me an epic slog through mind-numbingly boring and badly written stack of tropes, following paper-thin stereotypes that masqueraded as characters. I don’t deny that Chu had good intentions, that he has his heart in the right place, and that this book had been clearly a labour of love for him. But that is not enough, or, to be more precise, it doesn’t automatically grant writing skills, a knack for dialogue, or even rudimentary plotting abilities. Our hero’s journey follows a lengthy shopping list of tropes and nothing else. Throwing into the mix a set of “strong female characters” in the hopes that this would somehow redeem the blandness of the main protagonist only succeeds in laying down the bare truth that none of the characters in The Art of Prophecy are even remotely fleshed beyond their core trope. A talented spoiled brat who needs to learn humility and trust, check. A fabled tough master with a heart of gold, check. An enemy-to-friend through common hardship, check. A gigantic martial monk with the personality of a baby, check. A martial artist who wanted to become an artist instead and hates violence, check. A hard-as-nails warrior who becomes a leader of her people, check, check, check. I could go on, right to the foxy red-haired lesbian shadow assassin, but what’s the point – just go on TV tropes already and you’ll find the entire list of characters of this book right there. And I don’t even have anything against tropes, really, provided the author does something creative with them. Here, though, the shopping list was the end of the effort. Stereotypical doesn’t even start to cover it, with the main conflict something straight from Mulan – and I’m not talking about historical aspects, but rather the glaring lack of complexity.
I struggled with this book, badly. I was close to DNFing it three times, and ended up reading three or four different books in the meantime. I didn’t care for any of the characters, their tedious adventures and “twists” signalled half a book away. The inept and stilted dialogue hurt my eyes, and the only magic in the book was in how they could also hurt my brain at the same time. I could see the effort the author put into depicting this world and its many wonders, the Sea of Grass and the tall windswept cliffs of so many Chinese legends. But the language was awkward, and the sentences strung together adequately conveyed their meaning but felt short of evoking any emotion. I ended up dreading the long descriptions of fights that somehow managed to be totally uninteresting even despite all that mythical martial prowess of the warriors engaged in them. Reading through The Art of Prophecy was a chore, and to be frank it saddens me, because the idea behind this novel and the clear enthusiasm of the author for martial arts were something to be cherished and cheered on.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thanks.
I adored this book. It was one of my top reads this year with excelent world building, characters i both loved and hated and rich world buidling. This is a book i look forward to recomending
I really wanted to love this. I read 50% but it was just too slow for me. The characters bugged me, I didn’t particularly care for where there story arc’s were progressing enough to try and stick out the last 50% of the book.
Thank you Netgalley and Publisher for this advanced copy
THIS IS SUCH AN ENTERTAINING BOOK. I love every pages of this book. Wesley Chu created a bunch of lively characters and I love them all. Jian definitely is not typical chosen one and Taishi is a perfect master for him.
The martial arts is detailed and I can easily imagine how they fight.
And don't forget the golden comedy. One of the best reads I read this year